First Published: 2004-10-14

 
Spain urges new UN resolution on WSahara
 

Spanish FM says new UN resolution on Western Sahara should restart process of resolving its status.

 

Middle East Online

Madrid trying to help find a solution to Western Sahara issue

TANGIERS, Morocco - A new UN resolution on Western Sahara should give new impetus to efforts to finally resolve the status of the former Spanish territory that was annexed by Morocco in 1975, Spanish Foreign Minister Angel Moratinos said Wednesday.

"It won't be easy, certain parties want to keep the resolution more technical. But we want a resolution that gathers as much of a consensus as possible and allows the United Nations ... to work towards relaunching the process" of resolving the status of Western Sahara, he said.

Morocco annexed neighboring Western Sahara on its independence from Spain in 1975 despite a World Court ruling in favour of autonomy for the territory.

UN efforts to resolve the situation have stalled since Morocco refused a plan drawn up by its special envoy, former US secretary of state James Baker.

The UN Security Council unanimously backed last year the so-called Baker plan under which Western Sahara would enjoy a large degree of autonomy during a five-year transition period followed by a referendum on self-rule.

Moratinos said the resolution should be finished so it could be considered by the Security Council at meeting scheduled later this month and allow UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's envoy to the region, Alvaro De Soto, to "create a new dynamic" in efforts to find a solution.

The issue has returned to the forefront after South Africa last month extended diplomatic recognition to Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Republic of Western Sahara.

Speaking during a visit to Tunisia on Wednesday, South African President Thabo Mbeki said it was the UN that would need to take the lead in solving the issue of Western Sahara.

"We are all in agreement of leaving the problem of Western Sahara in the hands of the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan," said Mbeki.

The question of Western Sahara has strained relations between Morocco and neighbor Algeria, which backed the Polisario Front movement seeking independence for the territory bordering the Atlantic between Mauritania and Morocco.

 

Saudi Arabia ousts head of Syria opposition government

Kerry again places onus on Hamas to accept ceasefire

Maliki meets Sunni tribal leaders in new bid to gain support

Islamists lose in Libya parliament elections

Syria oil industry suffers huge losses because of war

Turkey detains dozens of senior police officers for 'spying'

Israeli envoy: Our soldiers deserve a Nobel Peace Prize

Rights group denounces Kuwait's revocation of citizenship

Britain finds evidence of effort to Islamise state-run schools

Fiercest fighting in months hits Eastern Damascus

Iraq slams Jordan for hosting 'unacceptable' meeting of Sunni critics

Erdogan sacrifices Gaza mediation in favour of anti-Israel diatribes

Israel hits Al-Jazeera Gaza office

UN calls for help to vaccinate Syria toddlers against polio

Erdogan has stopped talking to Obama

Israel confirms kidnapped soldier is dead

South Sudan rebels pledge to pull troops out fails

Rouhani: More negotiations only solution for nuclear deal

Israel identify 12 soldiers killed over the weekend

UAE pledges $41 million aid for Gaza reconstruction

Security Council condemns persecution of Iraqi Christians

Deadly clashes erupt in Benghazi

27 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza assault

One of world’s oldest monasteries falls into hands of jihadists in Iraq

Syria rebels expel jihadists from four areas in Damascus region

Kuwait revokes citizenship of owner of pro-opposition Al-Youm TV

Diplomacy intensifies to end weeks of deadly violence in Gaza

Turkey imposes curfew on Hakkari town after clashes

UAE slams Doha-based Al-Jazeera over fabricated Gaza news

Syria to Russia: Thanks for supporting our victory!

Behind the scene: Kerry criticises Israel offensive on Gaza

IAEA says Iran complying with nuclear deal

France slams and bans ‘anti-Semitic’ Gaza rally

UN chief denounces persecution of Iraqi Christians

Kerry in Cairo to stop Mideast conflict

At least 47 killed in battle for Libya airport

Gaza death toll exceeds 500 amid UN impotence

Bahrain files lawsuit to suspend Al-Wefaq activities

Shejaiya massacre: Israel’s revenge for killing of 13 soldiers in Gaza

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires over Erdogan’s criticism

South Sudanese rebels launch offensive to retake key town

Lebanon detains two over shocking child beating video

Syria President maintains mum on Faruq al-Sharaa

‘Islamic State’ claims responsibility for deadly Baghdad bombings

Bloody Sunday in Gaza as nearly 90 Palestinians killed